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A gentler Sabyasachi with creams & whites

Mumbai, July 21: The star that rose from the east in the fashion world last year proved he was here to blaze through the skies. No, make that glow, because he likes it understated.

Young Calcutta designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee showed his collection to a huge turnout at the Lakme India Fashion Week at the NCPA today. (In the morning he said there was such a demand for his show that even his father would probably have to watch it on television). He managed to prove that he is different.

His aesthetics, a mix of romanticism, classicism and an anti-war yearning, found expression in a line of clothes that was elegant, un-pret (ready to wear) and anti-contemporary. “Anti-punk,” Mukherjee added.

Unlike the colours with which he blazed and shot to fame last year, he used pure creams and whites to the accompaniment of pre- war music. It was, as he said after the show, symbolic of a gentle world.

In a crumpled white shirt and jeans, the designer looks an inhabitant of that world, too.

When quizzed about his views on the Iraq war he didn’t elaborate, but said he was a “humanist” and wanted peace.

His show received a standing ovation. In the crowd sat, not counting Page Three regulars like Aarti Surendranath and MTV VJ Anusha, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The director of Devdas is reported to have signed up Mukherjee for his next venture.

The show impressed viewers and buyers alike. Says Aniruddh Deshmukh of Be: the Raymonds’ retail store for designerwear: “It was fabulous. The collection was put together entirely without using colour.”

For socialite Shobha De, who had praised Mukherjee as stubbornly individual and a new kid to watch, this was the first show at the fashion week. “Possibly the last show, too,” she added.

De says she was a little disappointed. “It was an outstanding show, going by today’s response,” she said. “It was a clever show, impeccably put together, but I was a bit disappointed. It was all beige on beige,” De added.

“I can understand that, given the value of the international market. But I am desi,” she said.

De said that though it was too early to make a final judgment, Mukherjee remains one of the most talented youngsters on the fashion scene.

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